Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2 Trumps and A Pope

First the Donald said this:
How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest . . . You gotta remember this: To the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, okay? Just remember that.

Then the Pope said this:
A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel.

And then the Donald said this:
For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith."

Naturally, their disciples sprang to their defense.

"Trumpeters" quickly pointed out two things: 1) There are lots of wall-builders in the Bible (somewhere around the book of Two Kings, maybe) and 2) Consistency is for losers.

Francis lovers observed: a) The Pope didn’t build his “gated community,” he just lives there and b) He was speaking of building walls and bridges metaphorically—except of course for that one wall that everybody is talking about (on this point you may want to revisit number 2 above).

Well…maybe they just misspoke. Perhaps they were simply trying to keep up with that fiery lady-preacher, Madeleine Albright.

At any rate, things deescalated quickly. The Pope has offered the Donald “the benefit of the doubt” and the Donald has offered the Pope absolution.

Holy war averted.

The crisis is past but the quandary remains. Who to believe in matters of the heart: Donald Trump, Pope Francis, or Donald Trump?

You see, I’m neither Catholic nor Trumpkin.  

My trust, hope, and loyalties are elsewhere. The One I follow says,
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

I believe Jesus holds the answers to questions of the heart. Will we come to Him? No walls of brick or soul can prevent us. Will we learn from Him? The fact is, whether we know it or not, we are lost—intellectually, morally, and spiritually—without Him. We need a guide.

More than a guide, we need a savior. 

Dear reader, Jesus is the Savior of all men. All men includes you, me, Trumps and popes—even lying Cubans. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Trump & Sanders: Are They Revolting?

“Let's have Trump vs Bernie and fight the 2nd American revolution
for the soul of the country, and the future of the world.”

The above sentiment comes from a Facebook acquaintance of mine. One thing Trump and Sanders have in common is incredibly zealous supporters. The populace’s passion is rooted in a deep disgust and disdain for both Democrat and Republican establishments.

In other words, folks left and right have had enough.

But having enough isn’t a solution. Knowing there’s a problem is easy; knowing how to fix it—not so much. That people agree on the disease but not the cure was on full display in New Hampshire last week: A crony capitalist and an avowed socialist each won big.

Confusion abounds.

The populist ambivalence reminds me of a quote from H.L. Mencken:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Thus far both politicians are long on promises and short on details; and understandably so. (As you’ve probably heard, “the details” is where the devil resides.)

Nevertheless, I think we can all be assured that a President Trump or Sanders would be equally committed to giving it to us good and hard.

But what exactly would they give us?

As best as I can tell, Trump intends to “make America great again.”

You may wonder: What does he mean by great and “great” for whom? Maybe a clue to your query is found in the word again. Perhaps Trump is desirous of recapturing something.

But what?

Having acquainted myself with Trump’s POSITIONS page, I believe he envisions revitalizing and expanding U.S. hegemony by way of economic and military expansion. To be sure, there is more to it than this, but a revived American Empire seems to be the centerpiece.

Not to be outdone, Sanders also proposes to revitalize and expand something: The Federal Government.

According to Hillary Superdelegate Clinton, Sanders’ vision for America would increase the size of our already bloated government by a whopping 40 percent. Let that sink in. (This may be a rare instance of Madam Secretary nearly telling the truth…let that sink in!) The fact is we’ve been slouching toward socialism for many, many decades. Sanders is simply promising a whole lot more of the same.

Even so, young folks just love quirky Uncle Bernie.

So here’s the situation. One promises to recover wealth and the other pledges to redistribute it. As a wise man once said, “It's deja vu all over again.” 

Are Trump and Sanders revolting? Their disciples imagine they are. But they’re not. They’re recycling.